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Robert Fergusson

Hallow-Fair

At Hallowmas, whan nights grow lang,
And starnies shine fu' clear,
Whan fock, the nippin cauld to bang,
Their winter hap-warms wear,
Near Edinbrough a fair there hads,
I wat there's nane whase name is,
For strappin dames an sturdy lads,
And cap and stoup, mair famous
Than it that day.

Upo' the tap o' ilka lum
The sun bagan to keek,
And bad the trig made maidens come
A sightly joe to seek
At Hallow-fair, whare browsters rare
Keep gude ale on the gantries,
And dinna scrimp ye o' a skair
O' kebbucks frae their pantries,
Fu' saut that day.

Here country John in bonnet blue,
An' eke his Sunday claise on,
Rins efter Meg wi' rokelay new,
An' sappy kisses lays on;
She'll tauntin say, ye silly coof!
Be o' your gab mair spairin;
He'll tak the hint, and criesh her loof
Wi' what will buy her fairin,
To chow that day.

Here chapman billies tak their stand,
An' shaw their bonny wallies;
Wow, but they lie fu' gleg aff hand
To trick the silly fallows:
Heh, Sirs! what cairds and tinklers come,
An' ne'er-do-weel horse-coupers,
An' spae-wives fenzying to be dumb,
Wi' a' siclike landloupers,
To thrive that day.

Here Sawny cries, frae Aberdeen;
'Come ye to me fa need:
The brawest shanks that e'er were seen
I'll sell ye cheap an' guid.
I wyt they are as protty hose
As come fae weyr or leem:
Here tak a rug, and shaw's your pose:
Forseeth, my ain's but teem
An' light this day.'

Ye wives, as ye gang thro' the fair,
mak your bargains hooly!
O' a' thir wylie lowns beware,
Or fegs they will ye spulzie.
For fairn-year Meg Thamson got,
Frae thir mischievous villains,
A scaw'd bit o' a penny note,
That lost a score o' shillins
To her that day.

The dinlin drums alarm our ears,
The serjeant screechs fu' loud,
'A' gentlemen and volunteers
That wish your country gude,
Come here to me, and I shall gie
Twa guineas and a crown,
A bowl o' punch, that like the sea
Will soum a lang dragoon
Wi' ease this day.'

Without the cuissers prance and nicker,
An' our the ley-rig scud;
In tents the carles bend the bicker,
An' rant an' roar like wud.
Then there's sic yellowchin and din,
Wi' wives and wee-anes gablin,
That ane might true they were a-kin
To a' the tongues at Babylon,
Confus'd that day.

Whan Phoebus ligs in Thetis lap,
Auld Reekie gies them shelter,
Whare cadgily they kiss the cap,
An' ca't round helter-skelter.
Jock Bell gaed furth to play his freaks,
Great cause he had to rue it,
For frae a stark Lochaber aix
He gat a clamihewit
Fu' sair that night.

'Ohon!' quo' he, 'I'd rather be
By sword or bagnet stickit,
Than hae my crown or body wi'
Sic deadly weapons nicket.'
Wi' that he gat anither straik
Mair weighty than before,
That gar'd his feckless body aik,
An' spew the reikin gore,
Fu' red that night.

He pechin on the cawsey lay,
O' kicks and cuffs weel sair'd;
A Highland aith the serjeant gae,
'She maun pe see our guard.'
Out spak the weirlike corporal,
'Pring in ta drunken groat,
For that neist day.

Good focks, as ye come frae the fair,
Bide yont frae this black squad;
There's nae sic savages elsewhere
Allow'd to wear cockade.
Than the strong lions's hungry maw,
Or tusk o' Russian bear,
Frae their wanruly fellin paw
Mair cause ye hae to fear
Your death that day.

A wee soup drink dis unco weel
To had the heart aboon;
It's good as lang's a canny chiel
Can stand steeve in his shoon.
But gin a birkie 's owr weel sair'd,
It gars him aften stammer
To pleys taht bring him to the guard,
An' eke the Council-chawmir,
Wi' shame that day.

The Daft Days

Now mirk December's dowie face
Glours our the rigs wi' sour grimace,
While, thro' his minimum of space,
The bleer-ey'd sun
Wi' blinkin light and stealing pace,
His race doth run.

From naked groves nae birdie sings,
To shepherd's pipe nae hillock rings,
The breeze nae od'rous flavour brings
From Borean cave,
And dwyning nature droops her wings,
Wi' visage grave.

Mankind but scanty pleasure glean
Frae snawy hill or barren plain,
Whan Winter, 'midst his nipping train,
Wi' frozen spear,
Sends drift owr a' his bleak domain,
And guides the weir.

Auld Reikie! thou'rt the canty hole,
A bield for mony caldrife soul,
Wha snugly at thine ingle loll,
Baith warm and couth;
While round they gar the bicker roll
To weet their mouth.

When merry Yule-day comes, I trow
You'll scantlins find a hungry mou;
Sma' are our cares, our stamacks fou
O' gusty gear,
And kickshaws, strangers to our view,
Sin Fairn-year.

Ye browster wives, now busk ye bra,
And fling your sorrows far awa';
Then come and gie's the tither blaw
Of reaming ale,
Mair precious than the well of Spa,
Our hearts to heal.

Then, tho' at odds wi' a' the warl',
Amang oursells we'll never quarrel;
Tho' Discord gie a canker'd snarl
To spoil our glee,
As lang's there's pith into the barrel
We'll drink and 'gree.

Fiddlers, your pins in temper fix,
And roset weel your fiddle-sticks,
But banish vile Italian tricks
From out your quorum,
Nor fortes wi' pianos mix,
Gie's Tulloch Gorum.

For nought can cheer the heart sae weil
As can a canty Highland reel,
It even vivifies the heel
To skip and dance:
Lifeless is he what canna feel
Its influence.

Let mirth abound, let social cheer
Invest the dawning of the year;
Let blithesome innocence appear
To crown our joy,
Nor envy wi' sarcastic sneer
Our bliss destroy.

And thou, great god of Aqua Vitæ!
Wha sways the empire of this city,
When fou we're sometimes capernoity,
Be thou prepar'd
To hedge us frae that black banditti,
The City-Guard.

Rabbie Burns

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Comin Thro' The Rye

chorus:

O Jenny's a' weet poor body,
Jenny's seldom dry;
She draig'lt a' her petticoatie,
Comin thro' the rye.

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the rye,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need a body cry?

Gin a body meet a body
Comin thro' the glen,
Gin a body kiss a body,
Need the warld ken?

The Country Lass

In simmer, when the hay was mawn
And corn wav'd green in ilka feild,
While claver blooms white o'er the lea
And roses blaw in ilka bield!
Blythe Bessie in the milking shiel,
Says - I'll be wed, come o't what will:
Out spake a dame in wrinkled eild-
O' gude advisement comes nae ill.

It's ye hae wooers ane,
And lassie, ye're but young, ye ken,
Then wait a wee, and cannie wale
A routhie butt, a routhie ben;
There's Johnie o' the Buskie-glen,
Fu' is his barn, fu' is his byre;
Tak this frae me, my bonie hen,
It's plenty beets the luver's fire.

For Johnie o' the Buskie-glen,
I didna care a single flie;
He lo'es sae weel his craps an kye,
He has nae luve to spare for me;
But blythe's the blink o' Robie's e'e,
And weel I wat he lo'es me dear:
Ae blink o' him wad na gie
For Buskie-glen and a' his gear.

O thoughtless lassie, lifes a faught;
The canniest gate, the strife is sair;
But ay fu'-han't is fechtin best,
A hungry care's an unco care:
But some will spend and some will spare,
An' wilfu' folk maun hae their will;
Syne as ye brew, my maiden fair,
Keep mind that ye maun drink the yill

O gear will buy me rigs o' land,
And gear will buy me sheep and kye;
But the tender heart o' leesome luve,
The gowd and siller canna buy;
We may be poor - Robie and I-
Light is the burden luve lays on;
Content and luve brings peace and joy
What mair hae Queens upon a throne?

Address To The Toothache

My curse upon your venom'd stang,
That shoots my tortur'd gums alang,
An' thro' my lugs gies sic a twang,
Wi' gnawing vengeance,
Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang,
Like racking engines!

When fever burn, or agues freeze us,
Rheumatics gnaw, or colics squeeze us,
Our neibor's sympathy can ease us,
Wi' pitying moan;
But thee - thou hell o' a' diseases -
They mock our groan.

Adown my beard the slavers trickle,
I throw the wee stools o'er the mickle,
While round the fire the giglets keckle,
To see me loup,
An' ravin mad, I wish a heckle
Were in their doup!

In a' the numerous human dooles,
Ill-hairsts, daft bargains, cutty stools,
Or worthy frien's rak'd i the mools,-
Sad sight to see!
The tricks o' knaves, or fah o' fools,
Thou bear'st the gree!

Where'er that place be priests ca' hell,
Where a' the tones o' misery yell,
An' ranket plagues their numbers tell,
In dreadfu' raw,
Thou, TOOTHACHE, surely bear'st the bell,
Amang them a'!

thou grim, mischief-making chiel,
That gars the notes o' discord squeel,
Till daft mankind aft dance a reel
In gore, a shoe-thick,
Gie's a' the faes o' SCOTLAND'S weal
A towmond's toothache!

Gude Ale Keeps The Heart Aboon

chorus:

O gude ale comes and gude ale goes;
Gude ale gars me sell ma hose,
Sell my hose, and pawn my shoon -
Gude ale keeps my heart aboon!

I HAD sax owsen in a pleugh,
And they drew a' weel eneugh:
I sell'd them a' just ane by ane -

Gude ale hauds me bare and busy,
Gars me moop wi' the servant hizzie,
Stand i' the stool when I hae dune -

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus:

For auld land syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'll be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us briad hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.

And there's a hand, my trusty fiere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.

Address To A Haggis

Fair fa' your honest, sonsie face,
Great Chieftan o' the Puddin-race!
Aboon them a' ye tak your place,
Painch, tripe, or thairm:
Weel are ye wordy o' a grace
As lang's my arm.

The groaning trencher there ye fill,
Your hurdies like a distant hill,
Your pin wad help to mend a mill
In time o' need,
While thro' your pores the dews distil
Like amber bead.

His knife see Rustic-labour dight,
An' cut you up wi' ready slight,
Trenching your gushing entrails bright
Like ony ditch;
And then, O what a glorious sight,
Warm-reekin, rich!

Then, horn for horn they stretch an' strive,
Deil tak the hindmost, on they drive,
Till a' their weel-swall'd kytes belyve
Are bent like drums;
Then auld Guidman, maist like to rive,
Bethanket hums.

Is there that owre his French ragout,
Or olio that wad staw a sow,
Or fricassee wad mak her spew
Wi' perfect sconner,
Looks down wi' sneering, scronful' view
On sic a dinner?

Poor devil! see him owre his trash,
As feckless as a wither'd rash,
His spindle shank a guid whip-lash,
His nieve a nit;
Thro' bluidy flood or field to dash,
O how unfit!

But mark the Rustic, haggis-fed,
The trembling earth resounds his tread,
Clap in his walie nieve a blade,
He'll mak it whissle;
An' legs, an' arms, an' heads will sned,
Like taps o' thrissle.

Ye Pow's wha mak mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill o' fare,
Auld Scotland wants nae skinking ware
That jaups in luggies;
But, if you wish her gratefu' pray'r,
Gie her a Haggis!

The last stanza was originally written out as follows:-

"Ye Pow'rs wha gie us a' that's gude
Still bless auld Caledonia's brood,
Wi' great John Barleycorn's heart's bluid
In stoups or luggies;
And on our boards, that king o' food,
A glorious Haggis!"

Gin ye'v lowpit wi the [oreeginal] airtin, uise the back button on yer stravaiger's menu baur for tae gang back tae the 'hoose-style' orthography.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson gied the follaein wittins anent his orthograpy.

TABLE OF COMMON SCOTTISH VOWEL SOUNDS
ae, ai
= open A as in rare.
a', au, aw
= AW as in law.
ea, ee
= open E as in mere, but this with exceptions, as heather=heather, wean=wain, lear=lair.
ei, ie
= open E as in mere.
oa
= open O as in more.
ou
= doubled O as in poor.
ow
= OW as in bower.
u
= doubled O as in poor.
ui or ü before R
= (say roughly) open A as in rare.
ui or ü before any other consonant
= (say roughly) close I as in grin.
y
= open I as in kite.
i
= pretty nearly what you please, much as in English, Heaven guide the reader through that labyrinth! But in Scots it dodges usually from the short I, as in grin, to the open E, as in mere. Find and blind, I may remark, are pronounced to rhyme with the preterite of grin.
 
Thrawn Janet

The Reverend Murdoch Soulis was long minister of the moorland parish of Balweary, in the vale of Dule. A severe, bleak-faced old man, dreadful to his hearers, he dwelt in the last years of his life, without relative or servant or any human company, in the small and lonely manse under the Hanging Shaw. In spite of the iron composure of his features, his eye was wild, scared, and uncertain ; and when he dwelt, in private admonition, on the future of the impenitent, it seemed as if his eye pierced through the storms of time to the terrors of eternity. Many young persons, coming to prepare themselves against the season of the Holy Communion, were dreadfully affected by his talk. He had a sermon on 1st Peter, v. and 8th, "The devil as a roaring lion," on the Sunday after every seventeenth of August, and he was accustomed to surpass himself upon that text both by the appalling nature of the matter and the terror of his bearing in the pulpit. The children were frightened into fits, and the old looked more than usually oracular, and were, all that day, full of those hints that Hamlet deprecated. The manse itself, where it stood by the water of Dule among some thick trees, with the Shaw overhanging it on the one side, and on the other many cold, moorish hill-tops rising toward the sky, had begun, at a very early period of Mr. Soulis's ministry, to be avoided in the dusk hours by all who valued themselves upon their prudence; and guidmen sitting at the clachan alehouse shook their heads together at ,the thought of passing late by that uncanny neighbourhood. There was one spot, to be more particular, which was regarded with especial awe. The manse stood between the high road and the water of Dule, with a gable to each; its back was towards the kirktown of Balweary, nearly half a mile away; in front of it, a bare garden, hedged with thorn, occupied the land between the river and the road. The house was two storeys high, with two large rooms on each. It opened not directly on the garden, but on a causewayed path, or passage, giving on the road on the one hand, and closed on the other by the tall willows and elders that bordered on the stream. And it was this strip of causeway that enjoyed among the young parishioners of Balweary so infamous a reputation. The minister walked there often after dark, sometimes groaning aloud in the instancy of his unspoken prayers; and when he was from home, and the manse door was locked, the more daring schoolboys ventured, with beating hearts, to "follow my leader" across that legendary spot.
This atmosphere of terror, surrounding, as it did, a man of God of spotless character and orthodoxy, was a common cause of wonder and subject of inquiry among the few strangers who were led by chance or business into that unknown, outlying country. But many even of the people of the parish were ignorant of the strange events which had marked the firt year of Mr. Soulis's ministrations; and among those who were better informed, some were naturally reticent, and others shy of that particular topic. Now and again, only, one of the older folk would warm into courage over his third tumbler, and recount the cause of the minister's strange looks and solitary life.

Fifty years syne, when Mr. Soulis cam' first into Ba'weary, he was still a young man-a callant, the folk said-fu' o' book-learnin' an' grand at the exposition, but, as was natural in sae young a man, wi' nae leevin' experience in religion. The younger sort were greatly taken wi' his gifts and his gab; but auld, concerned, serious men and women were moved even to prayer for the young man, whom they took to be a self-deceiver, and the parish that was like to be sae ill-supplied. It was before the days o' the moderates-weary fa' them; but ill things are like guid-they baith come bit by bit, a pickle at a time; and there were folk even then that said the Lord had left the college professors to their ain devices, an' the lads that went to study wi' them wad hae done mair an' better sittin' in a peatbog, like their forbears of the persecution, wi' a Bible under their oxter an' a speerit o' prayer in their heart. There was nae doubts, onyway, but that Mr. Soulis had been ower lang at the college. He was careful and troubled for mony things besides the ae thing needful. He had a feck o' books wi' him-mair than had ever been seen before in a' that presbytery; and a sair wark the carrier had wi' them, for they were a' like to have smoored in the De'il's Hag between this and Kilmackerlie. They were books o' divinity, to be sure, or so they ca'd them; but the serious were o' opinion there was little service for sae mony, when the hail o' God's Word would gang in the neuk o' a plaid. Then he wad sit half the day and half the nicht forbye, which was scant decent-writin', nae less ; an' first they were feared he wad read his sermons ; an' syne it proved he was writin' a book himsel', which was surely no' fittin' for ane o' his years an' sma' experience.
Onyway it behoved him to get an auld, decent wife to keep the manse for him an' see to his bit denners; an' he was recommended to an auld limmer-Janet M'Clour, they ca'd her-an' sae far left to himsel' as to be ower persuaded. There was mony advised him to the contrar, for Janet was mair than suspeckit by the best folk in Ba'weary. Lang or that, she had had a wean to a dragoon; she hadna come forrit for maybe thretty year; and bairns had seen her mumblin' to hersel' up on Key's Loan in the gloamin', whilk was an unco time an' place for a Godfearin' woman. Howsoever, it was the laird himsel' that had first tauld the minister o' Janet; an' in thae days he wad hae gane a far gate to pleesure the laird. When folk tauld him that Janet was sib to the de'il, it was a' superstition by his way o' it; an' when they cast up the Bible to him an' the witch of Endor, he wad threep it doun their thrapples that thir days were a' gane by, an' the de'il was mercifully restrained.
Weel, when it got about the clachan that Janet M'Clour was to be servant at the manse, the folk were fair mad wi' her an' him thegither; an' some o' the guidwives had nae better to dae than get round her door-cheeks and chairge her wi' a' that was ken't again' her, frae the sodger's bairn to John Tamson's twa kye. She was nae great speaker; folk usually let her gang her ain gate, an' she let them gang theirs, wi' neither Fair-guid-een nor Fair-guid-day; but when she buckled to, she had a tongue to deave the miller. Up she got, an' there wasna an auld story in Ba'weary but she gart somebody lowp for it that day; they couldna say ae thing but she could say twa to it ; till, at the hinder end, the guidwives up an' claught haud of her, an' clawed the coats aff her back, and pu'd her doun the clachan to the water o' Dule, to see if she were a witch or no, soom or droun. The carline skirled till ye could hear her at the Hangin' Shaw, an' she focht like ten; there was mony a guidwife bure the mark o' her neist day an' mony a lang day after; an' just in the hettest o' the collieshangie, wha suld come, up (for his sins) but the new minister!
" Women," said he (an' he had a grand voice), "I charge you in the Lord's name to let her go."
Janet ran to him-she was fair wud wi' terror-an' clang to him, an' prayed him, for Christ's sake, save her frae the cummers ; an' they, for their pairt, tauld him a' that was ken't, an' maybe mair.
"Woman is this true?"
"As the Lord sees me," says she, "as the Lord made me, no' a word o't. Forbye the bairn," says she, " I've been a decent woman a' my days."
"Will you," says Mr. Soulis, "in the name of God, and before me, His unworthy minister, renounce the devil and his works?"
Weel, it wad appear that when he askit that, she gave a girn that fairly frichit them that saw her, an' they could hear her teeth play dirl thegither in her chafts ; but there was naething for it but the ae way or the ither; an' Janet lifted up her hand an' renounced the de'il before them a'.
"And now," says Mr. Soulis to the guidwives, "home with ye, one and all, and pray to God for His forgiveness."
An' he gied Janet his arm, though she had little on her but a sark, and took her up the clachan to her ain door like a leddy o' the land ; an' her screighin' an' laughin' as was a scandal to be heard.
There were mony grave folk lang ower their prayers that nicht; but when the morn cam' there was sic a fear fell upon a' Ba'weary that the bairns hid theirsels, an' even the menfolk stood an' keekit frae their doors. For there was Janet comin' doun the clachan-her or her likeness, nane could tell-wi' her neck thrawn, an' her heid on ae side, like a body that has been hangit, an' a girn on her face like an unstreakit corp. By an' by they got used wi' it, an' even speered at her to ken what was wrang; but frae that day forth she couldna speak like a Christian woman, but slavered an' played click wi' her teeth like a pair o' shears; an' frae that day forth the name o' God cam' never on her lips. Whiles she wad try to say it, but it michtna be. Them that kenned best said least ; but they never gied that Thing the name o' Janet M'Clour; for the auld Janet, by their way o't, was in muckle hell that day. But the minister was neither to haud nor to bind; he preached about naething but the folk's cruelty that had gi'en her a stroke of the palsy; he skelpit the bairns that meddled her; an' he had her up to the manse that same nicht, an' dwalled there a' his lane wi' her under the Hangin' Shaw.
Weel, time gaed by: and the idler sort commenced to think mair lichtly o' that black business. The minister was weel thocht o' ; he was aye late at the writing, folk wad see his can'le doon by the Dule water after twal' at e'en; and he seemed pleased wi' himself an' upsitten as at first, though a' body could see that he was dwining. As for Janet, she cam' an' she gaed; if she didna speak muckle afore, it was reason she should speak less then; she meddled naebody; but she was an eldritch thing to see, an' nane wad hae mistrysted wi' her for Ba'weary glebe.
About the end o' July there cam' a spell o' weather, the like o't never was in that country-side ; it was lown an het an' heartless ; the herds couldna win up the Black Hill, the bairns were ower weariet to play; an' yet it was gousty too, wi' claps o' het wund that rumm'led in the glens, and bits o' shouers that slockened naething. We aye thocht it but to thun'er on the morn; but the morn cam' an' the morn's morning, an' it was aye the same uncanny weather, sair on folks and bestial. O' a' that were the waur, nane suffered like Mr. Soulis; he could neither sleep nor eat, he tauld his elders ; an' when he wasna writin' at his weary book, he wad be stravaguin' ower a' the country-side like a man possessed, when a'-body else was blithe to keep caller ben the house.
Abune Hangin' Shaw, in the bield o' the Black Hill, there's a bit enclosed grund wi' an iron yett; an' it seems, in the auld days, that was the kirkyaird o' Ba'weary, an' consecrated by the Papists before the blessed licht shone upon the kingdom. It was a great howff, o' Mr. Soulis's onyway; there he wad sit and consider his sermons; an' indeed it's a bieldy bit. Weel, as he cam' ower the waist end o' the Black Hill, ae day, he saw first twa, an' syne fewer, an' syne seeven corbie craws fleein' round an' round abune the auld kirkyaird. They flew laigh an' heavy, an' squawked to ither as they gaed; an' it was clear to Mr. Soulis that something had put them frae their ordinar. He wasna easy fleyed, an' gaed straucht up to the wa's; an' what suld he find there but a man, or the appearance o' a man, sittin' in the inside upon a grave. He was of a great stature, an' black as hell, and his e'en were singular to see. Mr. Soulis had heard tell o' black men, mony's the time; but there was something unco about this black man that daunted him. Het as he was, he took a kind o' cauld grue in the marrow o' his banes; but up he spak for a' that; an' says he: "My friend, are you a stranger in this place?" The black man answered never a word; he got upon his feet, an' begoud on to hirsle to the wa' on the far side; but he aye lookit at the minister; an' the minister stood an' lookit back; till a' in a meenit the black man was ower the wa' an' rinnin' for the bield o' the trees. Mr. Soulis, he hardly kenned why, ran after him; but he was fair forjeskit wi' his walk an' the het, unhalesome weather; an' rin as he likit, he got nae mair than a glisk o' the black man amang the birks, till he won doun to the foot o' the hillside, an' there he saw him ance mair, gaun, hap-step-an'-lawp, ower Dule water to the manse.
Mr. Soulis wasna weel pleased that this fearsome gangrel suld mak' sae free wi' Ba'weary manse; an' he ran the harder, an', wet sheen, ower the burn, an' up the walk; but the de'il a black man was there to see. He stepped out upon the road, but there was naebody there; he gaed a' ower the gairden, but na, nae black man. At the hinder end, an' a bit feared as was but natural, he lifted the hasp an' into the manse; and there was Janet M'Clour before his e'en, wi' her thrawn craig, an' nane sae pleased to see him. An' he aye minded sinsyne, when first he set his e'en upon her, he had the same cauld and deidly grue.
"Janet," says he, "ave you seen a black man?"
"A black man !" quo' she. "Save us a' ! Ye're no wise, minister. There's nae black man in a' Ba'weary."
But she didna speak plain, ye maun understand; but yam-yammered, like a powney wi' the bit in its moo.
"Weel," says he, "Janet, if there was nae black man, I have spoken with the Accuser of the Brethren."
An' he sat doun like ane wi' a fever, an' his teeth chittered in his heid.
"Hoots," says she, "think shame to yoursel', minister"; an' gied him a drap brandy that she keept aye by her.
Syne Mr. Soulis gaed into his study amang a' his books. It's a lang, laigh, mirk chalmer, perishin' cauld in winter, an' no' very dry even in the top o' the simmer, for the manse stands near the burn. Sae doun he sat, and thocht of a' that had come an' gane since he was in Ba'weary, an' his hame, an' the days when he was a bairn an' ran daffin' on the braes; an' that black man aye ran in his heid like the owercome of a sang. Aye the mair he thocht, the mair he thocht o' the black man. He tried the prayer, an' the words wouldna come to him; an' he tried, they say, to write at his book, but he couldna mak' nae mair o' that. There was whiles he thocht the black man was at his oxter, an' the swat stood upon him cauld as well-water ; and there was ither whiles, when he cam' to himsel' like a christened bairn an' minded naething.
The upshot was that he gaed to the window an' stood glowerin' at Dule water. The trees are unco thick, an' the water lies deep an' black under the manse; an' there was Janet washin' the cla'es wi' her coats kilted. She had her back to the minister, an' he, for his pairt, hardly kenned what he was lookin' at. Syne she turned round, an' shawed her face ; Mr. Soulis had the same cauld grue as twice that day afore, an' it was borne in upon him what folk said, that Janet was deid lang syne, an' this was a bogle in her claycauld flesh. He drew back a pickle and he scanned her narrowly. She was tramp-trampin' in the cla'es croonin' to hersel' ; and eh ! Gude guide us, but it was a fearsome face. Whiles she sang louder, but there was nae man born o' woman that could tell the words o' her sang; an' whiles she lookit side-lang doun, but there was naething there for her to look at. There gaed a scunner through the flesh upon his banes; an' that was Heeven's advertisement. But Mr. Soulis just blamed himsel', he said, to think sae ill o' a puir, auld afflicted wife that hadna a freend forbye himsel' ; an' he put up a bit prayer for him an' her, an' drank a little caller water-for his heart rose again' the meat-an' gaed up to his naked bed in the gloamin'.
That was a nicht that has never been forgotten in Ba'weary, the nicht o' the seeventeenth o' August, seeventeen hun'er an' twal'. It had been het afore, as I hae said, but that nicht it was hetter than ever. The sun gaed doun amang unco-lookin' clouds; it fell as murk as the pit; no' a star, no' a breath o' wund ; ye couldna see your han' afore your face, an' even the auld folk cuist the covers frae their beds an' lay pechin' for their breath. Wi' a' that he had upon his mind, it was gey an' unlikely Mr. Soulis wad get muckle sleep. He lay an' he tummled ; the gude, caller bed that he got into brunt his very banes; whiles he slept, an' whiles he waukened ; whiles he heard the time o' nicht, an' whiles a tyke yowlin' up the muir, as if somebody was deid ; whiles he thocht he heard bogles claverin' in his lug, an' whiles he saw spunkies in the room. He behoved, he judged, to be sick ; an' sick he was-little he jaloosed the sickness.
At the hinder end, he got a clearness in his mind, sat up in his sark on the bed-side, an' fell thinkin' ance mair o' the black man an' Janet. He couldna weel tell how-maybe it was the cauld to his feet-but it cam' in upon him wi' a spate that there was some connection between thir twa, an' that either or baith o' them were bogles. An' just at that moment, in Janet's room, which was neist to his, there cam' a stramp o' feet as if men were wars'lin', an' then a loud bang; an' then a wund gaed reishling round the fower quarters o' the house ; an' then a' was ance mair as seelent as the grave.
Mr. Soulis was feared for neither man nor de'il. He got his tinder-box, an' lit a can'le, an' made three steps o't ower to Janet's door. It was on the hasp, an' he pushed it open an' keeked bauldly in. It was a big room, as big as the minister's am, an' plenished wi' grand, auld solid gear, for he had naething else. There was a fewer-posted bed wi' auld tapestry; an' a braw cabinet o' aik, that was fu' o' the minister's divinity books, an' put there to be out o' the gate; an' a wheen duds o' Janet's lying here an' there about the floor. But nae Janet could Mr. Soulis see; nor any sign o' a contention. In he gaed (an' there's few that wad hae followed him) an' lookit a' round, an' listened. But there was naething to be heard, neither inside the manse nor in a Ba'weary parish, an' naething to be seen but the muckle shadows turnin' round the can'le. An' then, a' at aince, the minister's heart played dunt an' stood stock-still; an' a cauld wund blew amang the hairs o' his heid. Whaten a weary sicht was that for the puir man's e'en! For there was Janet hangin' frae a nail beside the auld aik cabinet: her held aye lay on her shouther, her e'en were steekit, the tongue projected frae her mouth, an' her heels were twa feet clear abune the floor.
"God forgive us all!" thocht Mr. Soulis, "poor Janet's dead."
He cam' a step nearer to the corp ; an' then his heart fair whammled in his inside. For by what cantrip it wad ill beseem a man to judge, she was hangin' frae a single nail an' by a single wursted thread for darnin' hose.
It's a awfu' thing to be your lane at nicht wi' siccan prodigies a' darkness; but Mr. Soulis was strong in the Lord. He turned an' gaed his ways oot o' that room, an' lockit the door ahint him ; an' step by step, doun the stairs, as heavy as leed; and set doun the can'le on the table at the stair-foot. He couldna pray, he couldna think, he was dreepin' wi' caul' swat, an' naething could he hear but the dunt-dunt-duntin' a' his am heart. He micht maybe hae stood there an hour, or maybe twa, he minded sae little; when a' o' a sudden he heard a laigh, uncanny steer upstairs ; a foot gaed to an' fro in the chalmer whaur the corp was hangin' ; syne the door was opened, though he minded weel that he had lockit it; an' syne there was a step upon the landin', an' it seemed to him as if the corp was lookin' ower the rail and doun upon him whaur he stood.
He took up the can'le again (for he couldna want the licht), an' as saftly as ever he could, gaed straucht out o' the manse an' to the far end a' the causeway. It was aye pit-mirk; the flame o' the can'le, when he set it on the grund, brunt steedy and clear as in a room; naething moved, but the Dule water seepin' and sabbin' doun the glen, an' yon unhaly footstep that cam' ploddin' doun the stairs inside the manse. He kenned the foot ower weel, for it was Janet's; an' at ilka step that cam' a wee thing nearer, the cauld got deeper in his vitals. He commended his soul to Him that made an' keepit him; "and, O Lord," said he, "give me strength this night to war against the powers of evil."
By this time the foot was comin' Through the passage for the door ; he could hear a hand skirt alang the wa', as if the fearsome thing was feelin' for its way. The saughs tossed an' maned thegither, a long sigh cam' ower the hills, the flame o' the can'le was blawn aboot ; an' there stood the corp of Thrawn Janet, wi' her grogram goun an' her black mutch, wi' the heid aye upon the shouther an' the girn still upon the face o't-leevin,' ye wad hae said-deid, as Mr. Soulis weel kenned-upon the threshold o' the manse.
It's a strange thing that the soul of man should be that thirled into his perishable body ; but the minister saw that, an' his heart didna break.
She didna stand there lang ; she began to move again an' cam' slowly towards Mr. Soulis whaur he stood under the saughs. A' the life o' his body, a' the strength o' his speerit, were glowerin' frae his e'en. It seemed she was gaun to speak, but wanted words, an' made a sign wi' the left hand. There cam' a clap o' wund, like a cat's fuff; oot gaed the can'le, the saughs skreighed like folk; an' Mr. Soulis kenned, that, live or die, this was the end o't.
"Witch, beldame, devil !" he cried, "I charge you, by the power of God, begone-if you be dead, to the grave-if you be damned, to hell."
An' at that moment the Lord's ain hand out o' the heevens struck the Horror whaur it stood; the auld, deid desecrated corp a' the witch-wife, sae lang keepit frae the grave and hirsled round by de'ils, lowed up like a brunstane spunk an' fell in ashes to the grund; the thunder followed, peal on dirlin peal, the rairin' rain upon the back o' that; and Mr. Soulis lowped through the garden hedge, an' ran, wi' skelloch upon skelloch, for the clachan.
That same mornin', John Christie saw the Black Man pass the Muckle Cairn as it was chappin' six ; before eicht, he gaed by the change-house at Knockdow; an' no' lang after, Sandy M'Lellan saw him gaun linkin' doun the braes frae Kilmackerlie. There's little doubt but it was him that dwalled sae lang in Janet's body; but he was awa' at last; an' sinsyne the de'il has never fashed us in Ba'weary.
But it was a sair dispensation for the minister ; lang, lang he lay ravin' in his bed; an' frae that hour to this, he was the man ye ken the day.

The Maker To Posterity

FAR 'yont amang the years to be
When a' we think, an' a' we see,
An' a' we luve, 's been dung ajee
By time's rouch shouther,
An' what was richt and wrang for me
Lies mangled throu'ther,

It's possible- its hardly mair
That some ane, ripin' after lear
Some auld professor or young heir,
If still there's either
May find an' read me, an' be sair
Perplexed, puir brither !

"What tongue does your auld bookie speak?"
He'll spier; an' I, his mou to steik :
"No bein' fit to write in Greek,
I wrote in Lallan,
Dear to my heart as the peat reek,
Auld as Tantallon.

"Few spak it than, an' noo there's nane.
My puir auld sangs lie a' their lane,
Their sense, that aince was braw an' plain,
Tint a'thegether,
Like, runes upon a standin' stane
Amang the heather.

"But think not you the brae to speel ;
You, tae, maun chow the bitter peel ;
For a' your lear, for a' your skeel,
Ye're nane sae lucky ;
An' things are mebbe waur than weel
For you, my buckie.

"The hale concern (baith hens an' eggs,
Baith books an' writers, stars an' clegs)
Noo stachers upon lowsent legs
An' wears awa';
The tack o' mankind, near the dregs,
Rins unco law.

"Your book, that in some braw new tongue,
Ye wrote or prentit, preached or sung,
Will still be just a bairn, an' young
In fame an' years,
Whan the hale planet's guts are dung
About your ears ;

"An' you, sair gruppin' to a spar
Or whammled wi' some bleezin' star,
Cryin, to ken whaur deil ye are,
Hame, France, or Flanders
Whang sindry like a railway car
An' flie in danders."

WHEN aince Aprile has fairly come,
An' birds may bigg in winter's lum,
An' pleisure's spreid for a' and some
O' whatna state,
Love, wi' her auld recruitin' drum,
Than taks the gate.

The heart plays dunt wi' main an' micht;
The lasses' een are a' sae bricht,
Their dresses are sae braw an' ticht,
The bonny birdies!
Puir winter virtue at the sicht
Gangs heels ower hurdies.

An' aye as love frae land to land
Tirls the drum wi' eident hand,
A' men collect at her command,
Toun-bred or land'art,
An' follow in a denty band
Her gaucy standart.

An' I, wha sang o' rain an' snaw,
An' weary winter weel awa',
Noo busk me in a jacket braw,
An' tak my place
I' the ram-stam, harum-scarum raw'
Wi' smilin' face.

A Mile An' A Bittock

A MILE an' a bittock, a mile or twa,
Abüne the burn, ayont the law,
Davie an' Donal' an' Cherlie an' a',
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

Ane went hanie wi' the ither, an' then
The ither went hame wi' the ither twa men,
An' baith wad return him the service again,
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

The clocks were chappin' in house an' ha',
Eleeven, twal an' ane an' twa;
An' the guidman's face was turnt to the wa',
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

A. wind got up frae affa the sea,
It blew the stars as clear's could be,
It blew in the een of a' o' the three,
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

Noo, Davie was first to get sleep in his head,
"The best o' frien's maun twine," he said ;
I'm weariet, an' here I'm awa' to my bed."
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

Twa o' them walkin' an' crackin' their lane,
The mornin' licht cam gray an' plain,
An' the birds they yammert on stick an' stane,
An' the müne was shinin' clearly!

O years ayont, O years awa',
My lads, ye'll mind whate'er befa'
My lads, ye'll mind on the bield o' the law,
When the müne was shinin' clearly.

A Lowden Sabbath Morn

THE clinkum-clank o' Sabbath bells
Noo to the hoastin' rookery swells,
Noo faintin' laigh in shady dells,
Sounds far an' near,
An' through the simmer kintry tells
Its tale o' cheer.

An' noo, to that melodious play,
A' deidly awn the quiet sway
A' ken their solemn holiday,
Bestial an' human,
The singin' lintie on the brae,
The restin' plou'man.

He, mair than a' the lave o' men,
His week completit joys to ken;
Half-dressed, he daunders out an' in,
Perplext wi' leisure;
An' his raxt limbs he'll rax again
Wi' painfü' pleesure.

The steerin' mither strang afit
Noo shoos the bairnies but a bit
Noo cries them ben, their Sinday shüit
To scart upon them,
Or sweeties in their pouch to pit,
Wi blessin's on them.

The lasses, clean frae tap to taes,
Are busked in crunklin' underclaes;
The gartened hose, the weel-filled stays,
The nakit shift,
A' bleached on bonny greens for days,
An' white's the drift.

An' noo to face the kirkward mile:
The guidman's hat o' dacent style,
The blackit shoon, we noo maun fyle
As white's the miller.
A waefü' peety tae, to spile
The warth o' siller.

Our Marg'et, aye sae keen to crack,
Douce-stappin' in the stoury track,
Her emeralt goun a' kiltit back
Frae snawy coats,
White-ankled, leads the kirkward pack
Wi' Dauvit Groats.

A thocht ahint, in runkled breeks,
A' spiled wi' lyin' by for weeks,
The guidman follows closs, an' cleiks
The sonsie missis;
His sarious face at aince bespeaks
The day that this is.

And aye an' while we nearer draw
To whaur the kirkton lies alaw,
Mair neebours, comin' saft an' slaw
Frae here an' there,
The thicker thrang the gate an' caw
The stour in air.

But hark ! the bells frae nearer clang;
To rowst the slaw, their sides they bang;
An' see! black coats a'ready thrang
The green kirkyaird;
And at the yett, the chestnuts spang
That brocht the laird.

The solemn elders at the plate
Stand drinkin' deep the pride o' state:
The practised hands as gash an' great
As Lords o' Session;
The later named, a wee thing blate
In their expression.

The prentit stanes that mark the deid
Wi' lengthened lip, the sarious read;
Syne wag a moraleesin' heid,
An' then an' there
Their hirplin' practice an' their creed
Try hard to square.

It's here our Merren lang has lain,
A wee bewast the table-stane;
An' yon's the grave o' Sandy Blane;
An' further ower,
The mither's brithers, dacent men !
Lie a' the fower.

Here the guidman sall bide awee
To dwall amang the deid; to see
Auld faces clear in fancy's e'e;
Belike to hear
Auld voices fa'in saft an' slee
On fancy's ear.

Thus, on the day o' solemn things,
The bell that in the steeple swings
To fauld a scaittered faim'ly rings
Its walcome screed;
An' just a wee thing nearer brings
The quick an' deid.

But noo the bell is ringin' in;
To tak their places, folk begin;
The minister himsel' will shüne
Be up the gate,
Filled fu' wi' clavers about sin
An' man's estate.

The times are up- French, to be shüre,
The faithfü' French, an' twa-three mair;
The auld prezentor, hoastin' sair,
Wales out the portions,
An' yirks the tüne into the air
Wi' queer contortions.

Follows the prayer, the readin' next,
An' than the fisslin' for the text
The twa-three last to find it, vext
But kind o' proud;
An' than the peppermints are raxed,
An' southernwood.

For noo's the time whan pows are seen
Nid-noddin' like a mandareen;
When tenty mithers stap a preen
In sleepin' weans;
An' nearly half the parochine
Forget their pains.

There's just a waukrif' twa or three:
Thrawn commentautors sweer to 'gree,
Weans glowrin' at the bumblin' bee
On windie-glasses,
Or lads that tak a keek a-glee
At sonsie lasses.

Hirnsel', meanwhile, frae whaur he cocks
An' bobs belaw the soundin'-box,
The treesures of his words unlocks
Wi' prodigality,
An' deals some unco dingin' knocks
To infidality.

Wi' sappy unction, hoo he burkes
The hopes o' men that trust in works,
Expounds the fau'ts o' ither kirks,
An' shaws the best o' them
No muckle better than mere Turks,
When a's confessed o' them.

Bethankit! what a bonny creed !
What mair would ony Christian need ?
The braw words rumm'le ower his heid,
Nor steer the sleeper;
And in their restin' graves, the deid
Sleep aye the deeper

Ille Terrarum

FRAE nirly, nippin', Eas'lan' breeze,
Frae Norlan' snaw, an' haar o' seas,
Weel happit in your gairden trees,
A bonny bit,
Atween the muckle Pentland's knees,
Secure ye sit.

Beeches an' aiks entwine their theek,
An' firs, a stench, auld-farrant clique.
A' simmer day, your chimleys reek,
Couthy and bien;
An' here an' there your windies keek
Amang the green.

A pickle plats an' paths an' posies,
A wheen auld gillyflowers an' roses:
A ring o' wa's the hale encloses
Frae sheep or men;
An' there the auld housie beeks an' dozes,
A' by her lane.

The gairdner crooks his weary back
A' day in the pitaty-track,
Or mebbe stops awhile to crack
Wi' Jane the cook,
Or at some buss, worm-eaten-black,
To gie a look.

Frae the high hills the curlew ca's;
The sheep gang baaing by the wa's;
Or whiles a clan o' roosty craws
Cangle thegether ;
The wild bees seek the gairden raws,
Weariet wi' heather.

Or in the gloamin' douce an' gray
The sweet-throat mavis tunes her lay;
The herd comes linkin' doun the brae;
An' by degrees
The muckle siller müne maks way
Amang the trees.

Here aft hae I, wi' sober heart,
For meditation sat apairt,
When orra loves or kittle art
Perplexed my mind;
Here socht a balm for ilka smart
O' humankind.

Here aft, weel neukit by my lane,
Wi' Horace, or perhaps Montaigne,
The mornin' hours hae come an' gane
Abüne my heid
I wadnae gi'en a chucky-stane
For a' I'd read.

But noo the auld city, street by street,
An' winter fu' o' snaw an' sleet,
Awhile shut in my gangrel feet
An' goavin' mettle;
Noo is the soopit ingle sweet,
An' liltin' kettle.

An' noo the winter winds complain;
Cauld lies the glaur in ilka lane;
On draigled hizzie, tautit wean
An' drucken lads,
In the mirk nicht, the winter rain
Dribbles an' blads.

Whan bugles frae the Castle rock,
An' beaten drums wi' dowie shock,
Wauken, at cauld-rife sax o'clock,
My chitterin' frame,
I mind me on the kintry cock,
The kintry hame.

I mind me on yon bonny bield;
An' Fancy traivels far afield
To gaither a' that gairdens yield
O' sun an' Simmer:
To hearten up a dowie chield,
Fancy's the limmer!

Helen B. Cruikshank

Gin ye'v lowpit wi the [oreeginal] airtin, uise the back button on yer stravaiger's menu baur for tae gang back tae the 'Wir Ain Leed' orthography.

Beasties

Clok-leddy, clok-leddy
Flee awa' hame,
Your lum's in a lowe,
Your bairns in a flame;
Reid-spottit jeckit,
An' polished black e'e,
Land on ma luif an' bring
Siller tae me!

Ettercap, ettercap,
Spinnin' your threid,
Midges for denner, an'
Flees for your breid;
Sic a mischanter
Befell a bluebottle,
Silk roond his feet-
Your hand at his throttle!

Moudiewarp, moudiewarp,
Howkin' an' scartin',
Tweed winna plaise ye,
Nor yet the braw tartan,
Silk winnasuit ye,
Naither will cotton,
Naething, my lord, but the
velvet ye've gotten.

Nancy Nicholson

This is the oreeginal version A wis gien. Gin ye ken a mair better ain, see's it ower.

Listen Tae The Teacher

He's 5 year auld, he's aff tae school
Fairmer's bairn wi a pencil and a rule
His teacher scoffs when he says "hoose"
"The word is house, you silly little goose"
He tells his ma when he gets back
He saa a mouse in an auld cairt track
His faither laughs fae the stackyard dyke
"Yon's a MOOSE ye daft wee tyke"

chorus:

Listen tae the teacher, dinna say dinna
Listen tae the teacher, dinna say hoose
Listen tae the teacher, ye canna say maunna
Listen tae the teacher, ye maunna say moose

He bit his lip an shut his mooth
Which one could he trust for truth
He took his burden o'er the hill
Tae auld grey Geordie o' the mill
"An did they mock thee for thy tongue
Wi them sae auld and you sae young?
They werena makin a fool o' ye
They were makin a fool o' themsels ye see"

Say hoose tae the faither, house tae the teacher
Moose tae the fairmer, mouse tae the preacher
When yer young it's weel for you
Tae dae in Rome as Romans do
But when ye grow an ye are auld
Ye needna dae as ye are tauld
Don't trim yer tongue tae suit yon dame
That scorns the language o' her hame

Then teacher thoucht that he was fine
He kept in step, he stayed in line
Faither says that he was gran'
He spoke his ain tongue like a man
An when he grew and made his choice
He chose his Scots, his native voice
And I charge ye tae dae likewise
Spurn yon pair misguided cries

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